Not every arrest results in a guilty plea or a conviction that stands up on appeal. Sometimes, arrests do not even produce criminal charges. However, if you have been arrested or detained, anyone requesting a criminal background check on you could learn of the incident. The fact police suspected you of involvement in a crime might make you a victim of stigma.
Until recently, a person who was arrested wrongly or mistakenly had to petition a court to declare him or her factually innocent. A recent change in the law makes it easier for many people to have their arrest records sealed as of right. Talk to a local criminal attorney about petitions to seal criminal records in Oakland if you want to shield a criminal matter from the public eye.
Criminal records are public records, and anyone could access them. Prospective employers, institutes of higher education, banks, and potential landlords may request a criminal background check on people they might do business with.
Given a choice, many people might prefer not to associate with someone with an arrest record, even if they were not convicted of a crime. Prejudice against people with criminal records could lead to lost opportunities for bank loans, employment, housing, volunteering, college or technical school admissions, and professional licensing.
When a record is sealed, the public no longer has access to it. A criminal background check will not reveal that the record even exists. Law enforcement agencies still could access the record, but the booking information, police notes, mug shots, fingerprints, and court records will all be inaccessible to the public. As such, someone who was arrested in Oakland may wish to petition to seal his or her criminal record.
Sealing a record as of right means that if you ask the court and you meet the requirements, your request will be granted. Although California Penal Code §851.91 makes it simpler for many people to get their arrest records sealed, not everyone can take advantage of the process. Only people may request that their records be sealed as of right if:
Even when an individual can meet one of these conditions, there are other restrictions at play. People who were arrested for murder or another charge that does not have a statute of limitations, and people who evaded prosecution through identity fraud or other means, cannot have their records sealed as of right.
Finally, if an arrest was related to domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse, and the individual has other arrests for similar conduct, a court could opt not to seal the record. In that case, the person would have to convince a court that sealing the record serves the interests of justice. An Oakland criminal attorney could help craft a persuasive declaration setting forth the reasons why sealing the record is right in a particular case.
Although the law says a record could be sealed “as of right” under certain circumstances, that does not mean it happens automatically. An individual must file a legal document called a petition asking to have his or her record sealed.
The defendant’s lawyer could prepare the petition and serve it on the appropriate court. He or she must also serve the prosecutor and law enforcement agency that arrested the individual. If there is an objection, the court will schedule a hearing.
The prosecutor must prove why sealing the record does not serve the interests of justice. However, if the arrest concerns domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse, the individual has the burden of proving that sealing is appropriate and fair.
You should not have to live with the consequences of an arrest record if the prosecutor could not prove a case against you. The law recognizes how unfair this is and offers a remedy by allowing arrestees to seal their records from the public.
If you want to bring a petition to seal a criminal record in Oakland, get help from a qualified defense attorney. Reach out today to get a knowledgeable advocate on your side.
The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.
We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.
As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.
From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.
We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.
Give us a call or contact us online so we can schedule a meeting to discuss your legal needs.
Schedule a meeting with our intake coordinator so we can determine the best plan to solve your legal problems.
We work to resolve your legal problems so you can focus on what is most important
Case Dismissed after Completion of Drug Court
All Charges Dismissed and Property Ordered to be Returned to Client
Deferred Entry of Judgment
Case Dismissed without Trial
Motion to Vacate Granted
Restraining Order Denied and Sealed
Both Cases Dismissed Prior to Trial
No Charges Filed
No Criminal Charges Filed & Detention
No Jail Time & No Sex Offender Registration
Pled to 1 Petty Misdemeanor and Not Required to Register as Sex Offender
The Nieves Law firm was a great choice in helping me through my restraining order case, the whole team there does a great job at walking you through the steps of the legal process. Jose is a great lawyer and is good at what he does, in court he really shines and is able to debate the case very well and professionally. I would definitely pick them again if I had to!
Thank you to my attorney Grace for all your help with my case. It took awhile but the outcome has made me so happy that I am able to move forward with my life and forget the past. Everyone at this law firm from the beginning to the end have been so helpful and supportive. I highly recommend The Nieves Law Firm!
The Nieves Law Firm is absolutely amazing. The best customer services experience I have had, great communication, astonishing experience, and overall a team of professionals that dedicate themselves to ensuring the best result. I am really happy to have worked with this team. Jimarielle was very helpful and provided me the comfort and understanding in every way possible. Highly recommend.
Thank you to the whole Nieves legal team, especially to my attorney, Mari Bowie, for being so supportive, helpful, and professional to me and my family in these hard times in my life. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a law firm that actually looks at you as a human-being first and cares about your well-being. I appreciate all the support they’ve given and will go to them again if I ever need to down the road.
The Nieves Law Firm has an outstanding team of attorneys who are supportive and provide exceptional Client service. The founding attorney Jo-Anna, firmly stands on her mission and is backed by a team with expertise. You can trust you’ll be in good hands and that their team will give their absolute best to help you. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney look no further they are knowledgeable and honestly the best to work with!